:: Bethakji ::

How are we to touch the feet (Charna sparsha) of Sri Mahaprabhuji ?

Many Vaishnavas are not aware of the method of touching the feet "Charna Sparsha" of Sri Mahaprabhuji. When Vaishnavas visit Baithakjies in great numbers, we happen to see very sorrowful scenes at the time of "Charna Sparsh". People fall on one another to touch the feet first. As a result, some people drop flat on Sri Mahaprabhuji's Chontara - which stands for his presence. In this tussle, instead of providing pleasure to Sri Mahaprabhuji, they add only inconvenience.

Some Vaishnava is heard saying in utter ignorance = "We do not find any statue here where feet are we going to touch ?" In these circumstances it is more advisable if the vaishnavas come in an orderly line, his feet, then they can enjoy the act. Try to remember this clearly. We touch his feet for our own joy. In fact, there is no pleasure of Sri Mahaprabhuji in this act. When we are doing this on account of our pleasure we should give all care to see that Sri Mahaprabhuji is not put to inconvenience.

It is our dharma. Let the Bhagavadiyas do this with the sole sentiment of touching the feet of Sri Mahaprabhuji.

Our sastras tell us that both Sri Thakurji and Sri Swaminiji have 16 signs in their feet. The significance of these signs have been explained by Goswami Sri Kaka Vallabha in one of his padas very beautifully :-

Dharamana Trividha Svarupa ko dhyana,
Sri MadVallabhaji Ke charna Kamala dhyana.
Sada Hari daya mae rakhe, garbha Vasana
Kabahu na ave, Visayavasana talik. 1

Kamala Vajra a ru gada patoka tolana ati Manabhayae,
Sukhadavalli dhanusha Sri Vallabhaji Kae dakshina Charna Chitta layae. 2

Dhaja ankusa aru mana Sudarsana astadala ati anupa,
Kamala kumbha java Sri Vallabhaji Kae Vama charna sukha rupa. 3

The sentiments of these 16 signs and their supernatural aspects are given below :

In the right lotus like foot :

1. Kamala - indicates the assuring power of the distress caused by trifold afflictions of the work. It also indicates the granting power of the love sentiment under Pusti System. The receipient is Krishnadasa adhikari.

2. Vajra - bolt : It used in defeating the doctrine of Maya Vada. Makes the devotee as hard as a bolt. The receipient : Padmanabhadasaji.

3. Gada : Mice : Relieves ignorance. remover conceit : victory over nature. recipient : Gadadharji.

4. Pataka : flag : Bestows the sentiment known as 'Viraha" i.e., pangs caused by separation from beloved rasa. Sringar. receipient : Sri Hariraiji

5. Torana : baunch of garlands made of asopalov leaves as an auspicious sign. Indicates an enliance to Pusti: firm shelter : receipient : Sri Raghunathji.

6. Sukhada valli : an upgrade line : indicates granting of the nectar of Vraj Lila : receipient : Sri Gosainji.

7. Dhanush : Bow : on the foot indicates the construction of Baithak. The heart of a devotee stands for a Baithak. Receipient : Sri Ghana syamji

In the left lotus like foot :

1. Dhwaja : flag : victory over time and actions. Receipient : Syamdasji

2. Ankus : achievement of nirodha. (Nirodha is control over mind) Receipient : Gajandhawan :

3. Meena : Fish : stability : Achievement of the Swarupa - nanda : Receipient : Eka Kshatrani :

4. Sudarsan : Prevention of ill effects : receipient : Nagjibhai :

5. Astadal : Achieving eight siddhies : speech of Astasakha : receipient : Rajobai :

6. Kamal : Lotus : Rasa Vilas : (sportive gesture of Rasa). Receipient : Padmavati Bhuji

7. Kumbha : Bestowing the nectar to Bhakta : receipient Mahalaxmi Bahuji.

8. Jav : Cereal like wheat. Tenfold Bhakti : receipient : Kanhyalal Kshahiya :
9. Swastika : Symbol of swastika : produces attachment for divine being : receipient : Krishnadasa Meghan:

Another aspect of the two lotus like feet :

1 . Right foot : Damlaji : stands for the form of smarana.
2. Left foot : Sri Gosainji : stands for the form of seva.

These are some aspects which we should keep in our heart for ever. Thinking of these sentiments we should touch the feet of Sri Mahaprabhuji. While touching the feet apply "Attar" (scent) on the fingers. Spread your hand on your palm; then spread your palm on the right foot. Thereafter prostrate before him. Do not touch anything with this hand. Keep it aloof so that you can take either prasadi water or "mishri" and put it in your mouth. In this way the "sacred Vraj Raj" will reach our heart. Now you touch your both eyes with this hand, and then your chest. In the end wash your hands once again.

You should touch the feet after removing the "Bhog". While touching the feet you should repeat the mantra of Brahma Sambandha at least three times. Take the advantage of the act of "Touching the feet" with all sentiments, humility and love. If you perform all these acts with an understanding and implications you will enjoy it more.